Now that I’ve taken care of the business of death, I no longer need to numb myself from the pain of loss. Now I cry. Softly. Quietly. The tears roll down my cheeks. I miss my dad. I really miss him.
Yesterday I took my mom out for a late lunch at a local diner. She enjoyed the outing. She likes going out of her memory care community with me.
Before I visited my mom, I saw my psychologist who suggested I do less and allow myself to grieve. I’ve been too defended, using busyness to keep my feelings at bay.
Today I listen to straight ahead jazz in memory of my father. He passed on his passion for jazz to me. Listening, I allow myself to cry. I miss sharing this love of jazz music with my dad. He lives on in so many ways. He lives on in my love for jazz, true American classical music.
Tomorrow we will remember my dad in a small get-together of close family. We will listen to jazz, as we share photos and memories of him.
My parents had requested that we keep their memorials small, inviting only close family members. We are honoring that request. Fits our emotional needs, too. We can only handle so much right now.
Unlike grief theories that propose defined stages, grief is not linear, nor is it universal. We grieve differently.
Now I feel nothing. I’m numb. My psychologist describes it as “taking care of business,” reframing what I’m going through, my coping mechanism, in a positive way.
Quoting MedlinePlus, NIH, U.S. National Library of Medicine at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001530.htm
People’s responses to grief will be different, depending on the circumstances of the death. For example, if the person who died had a chronic illness, the death may have been expected. The end of the person’s suffering might even have come as a relief. If the death was accidental or violent, coming to a stage of acceptance might take longer.
One way to describe grief is in five stages. These reactions might not occur in a specific order, and can occur together. Not everyone experiences all of these emotions:
- Denial, disbelief, numbness
- Anger, blaming others
- Bargaining (for instance, “If I am cured of this cancer, I will never smoke again.”)
- Depressed mood, sadness, and crying
- Acceptance, coming to terms
People who are grieving may have crying spells, trouble sleeping, and lack of productivity at work.